Program Director (Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems) (CCSS) Program)

Division: Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ENG/ECCS)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
This job is open to the public

Application timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date:
Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin and will continue until a selection is made.

Position Summary

The Division of Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS), within the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation, announces a nation-wide search for a senior-level engineering researcher to fill an open Program Director position in the Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems (CCSS) program area.

NSF Program Directors have the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation’s overall mission to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in fundamental engineering research and education that contribute to the nation's technological strength, security, and welfare. They are also responsible for service to NSF-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to: (1) Expand Knowledge in science, engineering, and learning; (2) Advance the capability of the Nation to meet current and future challenges; and (3) Enhance NSF’s performance of its mission.

In support of these strategic goals, NSF Program Directors interact extensively with the academic engineering research community, industry, and other Federal agencies. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review engineering research and education proposals, make funding recommendations and administer awards to implement the NSF Merit Review Process in a thorough and transparent manner. This requires expertise in appropriate engineering disciplines as well as strong skills in written and oral communication. Successful candidates should be receptive to new ideas, have a strong sense of fairness, excellent judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

This position is an unparalleled opportunity to ensure NSF funds the forefront of engineering research and education. The chosen individual will work with ECCS Senior Management and other NSF Program Directors in formulating research strategies, developing collaboration and cooperation across NSF and among government, academia, and industry, while fostering outreach to underrepresented groups.

Position Description

The Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems (CCSS) Program supports innovative research that addresses fundamental research challenges in: 1) Circuits, Antennas, and Electromagnetics, including radio-frequency (RF) circuits and antennas; secured and trusted communication and sensing circuits and systems; spectrum sensing and reconfigurable RF systems; and wireless power transfer and energy harvesting; 2) Communication Systems and Signal Processing, including spectrum access and coexistence; wireless, optical, and acoustic communications and networking; signal and image processing; quantum communication; and 3) Bio-Sensors and Sensing Systems, including micro, nano, and bio systems (MEMS/NEMS); chemical, biological, and physical diagnostics; sensors, actuators, and electronic interfaces; low-power wearable and implantable sensing systems; and neuroengineering and brain-inspired concepts and designs. The goal of the CCSS program is to enable creation of new components and systems with innovative engineering principles and solutions for a variety of applications including but not limited to healthcare, medicine, environmental and biological monitoring, communications, disaster mitigation, homeland security, intelligent transportation, manufacturing, energy, and smart buildings.

Specifically, the new CCSS Program Director is expected to have knowledge and/or experience working in the following areas:  wireless, optical, and hybrid communications and networking; millimeter-wave and terahertz communications; integrated sensing, communication, and computational systems; spectrum access, sharing, and co-existence; spectrum management and wireless innovation; effective spectrum utilization and innovative transmitter and receiver technologies through physical-layer and cross-layer designs; cyber physical systems and secured communications; signal processing and compressive sampling; imaging system and image processing; optimization, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data-enabled communication and sensing systems. These areas are of strategic interest and importance to the ECCS Division and the Engineering Directorate.

The ECCS Division supports enabling and transformative engineering research at the nano, micro, and macro scales that fuels progress in engineering system applications with high societal impact. ECCS programs encompass novel electronic, photonic, and magnetic devices and the integration of these devices into circuit and system environments, intelligent systems, control, and networks for applications spanning communications and cyber technologies, energy and power, healthcare, environment, transportation, manufacturing, the Internet of Things, and other systems-related areas. ECCS also strengthens its programs through links to other areas of engineering, science, industry, government, and international collaborations. In addition, ECCS emphasizes the integration of research and education to ensure the preparation of a diverse, professionally skilled, and globally competent workforce. ECCS is organized around three broad program clusters: Electronic, Photonic and Magnetic Devices (EPMD); Communications, Circuits, and Sensing Systems (CCSS); and Energy, Power, Control and Networks (EPCN). For further information, visit the ECCS web site at

The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option(s):

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment: Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment with a Federal agency include employees of State and local government agencies or institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations in instances where such assignments would be of mutual benefit to the organizations involved. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits. Initial IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement. 

Visiting Scientist, Engineer, and Educator (VSEE) Program: Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Visiting Scientists are on non-paid leave status from their home institution and placed on the NSF payroll. NSF withholds Social Security taxes and pays the home institution's contributions to maintain retirement and fringe benefits (i.e., health benefits and life insurance), either directly to the home institution or to the carrier. Appointments are usually made for a one-year period and may be extended for an additional year by mutual agreement.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.  Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General.

Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law require Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in engineering or physical science, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

In addition, demonstrated vision and leadership to identify and support long-term engineering research and education that enhances the mission of ECCS, and NSF are highly desired.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) a cover letter outlining qualifications for the position, (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) Citizen affidavit, as applicable.  Since there are several and distinct positions opened at the same time, please make sure that in the subject line of your e-mail, you reference the DCL number that applies to this specific announcement.

  • Vacancy Contact:  Dr. Carmiña Londoño
  • Application Submission Email Address:

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